For a long time India struggled with the problem of creating
jobs. It is still true for many sectors. Hence, the need to improve workforce
performance does not always emerge as priority number one. But now there are
some sectors emerging where regular evaluation and improving employee
performance are more of a business strategy than a regular administrative task.
For the small and medium enterprises, which are gradually increasing their
exposure to information technology, this becomes more pronounced as the number
of people in the company grows. If, for instance, you are a 10-people company,
chances are you are both the business and HR head, and know every employee by
name. You are also probably the one who’s hired them and are quite familiar
with their skills and performance. In such a scenario, doing an objective
performance appraisal and planning their training and careers is possible for a
one-man army like you. But, if you are ambitious and charting out a
200-percent-plus growth strategy, the number of people in your company is set to
grow at a rapid rate. Unless you plan for it now, you won’t be able to cope
with what might hit you. On the other hand, if you’ve already grown to
100-plus and are finding it difficult to implement performance measurement
parameters, keep track of employee performance vis-Ã -vis key performance
parameters, effectively link compensation with performance-it’s time you
turned to software for support.
You may ask, why software? What if I add, say, two more HR
executives and divide the workforce between them? Won’t they come cheaper than
going in for a full-blown automated HR information system (HRIS)? Besides, my
company has developed its own HR practices. Where will I find software that can
emulate my existing system? These are very valid and age-old questions. Every
organization will have to do its own analysis to find answers. But, eventually,
most will have to install an HRIS if they want to survive.
And the benefits go far beyond the routine applications.
Automated HR simplifies the people management process for greater profit by
regularly monitoring performance. It prompts for timely disbursement of employee
rewards vis-Ã -vis performance, and ensures that development plans are
implemented and measured. It can drastically cut down the hours the company
spends on tracking performance, benefits, and compensation. Technology can also
simplify your recruitment process by automatically sorting applications by
mapping skill sets. It can let you set up online recruitment test systems. For
instance, you might find out that a senior manager in your printing operations
department had, at some point in his career, worked with a BPO setup. And, so,
he is a good candidate to head the new outsourcing division you are setting up
for backend printing processes. Internal talent search like this is only
possible with the help of HRIS which brings up your peoples’ career trees and
their competencies at the click of a mouse.
A survey on the relationship between business performance and
workforce performance management by the International Association for Human
Resource Information Management and consulting firm, Knowledge Infusion, found
this: 96% of the companies reported workforce performance management as their
top human capital management priority for 2005.
Is it time for a realignment check for Indian companies? Yes.
Investing in people increases both-the top line as well as the bottom line.